The Flick Chicks

Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Catch And Release

Submit to DeliciousSubmit to DiggSubmit to FacebookSubmit to Google BookmarksSubmit to StumbleuponSubmit to TechnoratiSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

Judy Thorburn

Catch And Release

Las Vegas Tribune - http://www.lasvegastribune.com
Las Vegas Round The Clock
- http://www.lasvegasroundheclock.com

The Women Film Critics Circle - http://www.wfcc.wordpress.com
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
">
kreatia@
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

"CATCH AND RELEASE" FISHES FOR SYMPATHETIC LIFE CHANGING LESSONS

Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil

Catch and Release is Jennifer Garner’s first movie since the birth of her baby daughter Violet with hubby, Ben Affleck. She returns to the screen in this dark romantic comedy, or what I prefer to call a dramedy, about a young woman who tries to move on with her life after the sudden death of her fiancé as a result of a fishing accident (an inconsistency, since first we are told it was a skiing accident). For screenwriter Susannah Grant, who wrote the Oscar nominated Erin Brockovich, and other notable features such as the recent, wonderful Charlotte’s Web, Catch and Release marks her debut as director. While I will say it has some charming moments, I have to add I was underwhelmed and disappointed that the film didn’t live up to the hype.

For starters Garner’s character has the unlikely name of Gray, and her dead boyfriend was Grady, if you can believe that. The film opens at the funeral reception of Gray’s boyfriend, on the day that what was supposed to be the happy couple’s wedding. Unable to pay the rent for the house they shared, Grey moves in with Grady’s best friends, the comical, portly Sam (Kevin Smith) who consistently spews words of wisdom from boxes of Celestial Seasoning herbal teas, the more serious Dennis (Sam Jaeger) and Grady’s visiting childhood buddy, turned movie director, Fritz (Timothy Olyphant of TV’s Deadwood) who provide consolation and support while trying to deal with the loss in their own way. But, it doesn’t help much when Gray uncovers some things that she never knew about the man she loved. For one, as administrator of Grady’s estate she soon finds out that he was rich, had a secret bank account and for years was supporting another woman and her son who live in L.A. But, that isn’t the only revelation to complicate matters. Although Grey always thought of Fritz as a womanizing cad, she begins to see him in another light when he tries to help and protect her, and a mutual attraction develops. Eventually, Dennis admits to Gray that he loved her from afar, and is hurt when he realizes she and Fritz have become lovers. The question for all involved is when do you know that you can leave the past behind, come to terms with the truth and move on with a new outlook. All the characters must go through this life changing process, but not before discovering that there is more beneath the surface than meets the eye.

Garner is very appealing, has lots of charm, is a decent actress and does best with the material she’s given. It is also a pleasant surprise to see Kevin Smith in a major role different than his Silent Bob persona. Smith plays the comic relief without behaving ridiculous, stupid, or obnoxious. In fact everyone has apparent flaws but are basically decent people. Not one is a bad guy or jerk. The “other woman” in Grady’s life; a New Age message therapist named Maureen (portrayed with kooky but likeable flair by Juliette Lewis in a welcome change of pace) who shows up on the housemates’ doorstep, and Grady’s mother Ellen (Irish actress Fiona Shaw, evil Aunt Petunia in those “Harry Potter” flicks) both turn out to be quite different than our perceptions. Plus, there are a few unexpected twists and turns. That’s the good news.

On the negative side is the sense that some important things were missing, as in left on the cutting room floor. Grant has revealed that the original cut was just short of three hours, so I suspect that’s where the necessary pieces, which would explain a few things, could be found. For instance, why doesn’t Grey have at least one female friend or relation? Where was a best girlfriend who would have been her bridesmaid? What about her mother? There is no mention of deceased parents, so why isn’t at least one supportive female in the picture? I couldn’t get that out of my mind as well as wanting some needed flashbacks to Gray and Grady’s life together.

As a filmmaker, Grant’s first effort as a director does not match up with any of her other far better works. Granted (no pun intended) she does attempt to create some depth to the supporting characters. But she could have tried harder with Gray, as the lead and the underdeveloped, least interesting character, lukewarm (not hot enough for this flick chick) Fritz.

As for me, the best thing about the film is the beautiful, inviting location setting of Boulder, Colorado. I wanted to see more of this hip little town and was drawn to it more than all the characters combined.

The Catch and Release title refers to the fly fishing tactic of which Gray sees as heartless, not realizing the fish is given a chance to go on and live again. For those in the dark, that’s the themed metaphor. And yes, the film does have some heart. Pleasant, but mediocre I don’t see this film being a big hit with either female or male audiences. So, if you still want to catch it on the big screen, hurry before it is out of release.